How Do I Handle This?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Bunny, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    We have this couple that we are very good friends with. Actually, husband went to high school with both of them. When husband and I started dating I found out that the wife, C, and I had alot of things in common and have been close friends ever since. The husband, J, was an usher in our wedding. husband also plays hockey with J, so they see each other alot at the dek. They know about the problems that we have had with difficult child and C has always been a good listener about what is going on over there. They have no kids because of infertility problems, so it's not like they are childless by choice.

    J is a HUGE Steelers fan and every time they are in the Superbowl they have a big party, but this year C told me that they were not going to have the party because she was not up to it. When the Steelers made it to the Superbowl difficult child asked if C and J were going to have a party and would we have to go. I told him no, because that was what C told me. About a week later, C changed her mind and the party was on. She kept asking me if we were coming and I told her that husband and I haven't really talked about it. I was being evasive about it because I had already told difficult child that there was not going to be a party and that we were staying home Sunday night, and I had not had a chance to talk to husband about the fact that now telling difficult child that we were going to go was going to cause a problem with him. I was really tring to figure out what to do. In the meanwhile, husband tells C and J that we are going to the party, without asking me what I wanted to do. I was not pleased and I told him why. husband asks difficult child if he wants to go and he says "No! Mom already told me that we weren't going to the party and I won't go." husband is angry, but I told him that we had already told difficult child one thing and that he knows what happens when things change. difficult child can't deal wiith it, and in my opinion a Superbowl party was not worth having a meltdown over. husband finally agrees with me that we won't go and I tell C that we can't make the party.

    A few days later husband and J have a hockey game and J asks why we won't be at the party. husband tells him it's because difficult child is giving us a hard time about going, which J turns around and reports to his wife. I get an e-mail from C yesterday telling me that she understand why we didn't come, but that if it were her kid she would have made him go and I should not allow my kids to dictate what we do and do not attend.

    How do I repond to this? I would never say to her that since she has no kids she has no clue what's like to parent a difficult child, because that would just be cruel and I would never do that to her, but in a way I feel like what she said to me was cruel as well.

    Any thought? This is not worth losing a good friendship over, but I don't know what to say to her about it now.

    Actually it was a good thing that we didn't go because difficult child was sound asleep by 7:00 pm Sunday night. If he was that tired he would have been a nightmare at the party.

  2. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Pam - I'd just be honest. Since C had said they weren't having a party, you had told difficult child that. difficult child does not adapt well to change at this point in his life, and you guys are working on helping him become more flexible, but in the meantime, it would have served absolutely no purpose to force difficult child to go to the party where there was a real possibility of a massive meltdown that would have stressed *everyone* out at the party. It's not about allowing a child dictate your life. It's about weighing the unique needs of your child against what you want to do and how big a price your kid *and* others will have to pay.

    Since husband wanted to go, I probably would have told him to go and have a good time, and I would have stayed home with difficult child. I think you made absolutely the right call in not potentially precipitating a meltdown by forcing difficult child to go.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree with slsh - honestly, who wants a kid in meltdown mode at a party? LOL - not even I do - and I have difficult children...
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I don't think this is a "friendship breaker"....I mean, how many times have we told one another here on the board that we cannot let our entire lives revolve around our difficult child and sometimes we have to do a few things that make US happy once in a while?

    But, outside of our circle, few understand the enormous difficulty following that simple advice...

    C has already expressed that she understands - at the same time, she missed you. Perhaps the two of you need to plan a day out?
  5. dashcat

    dashcat Member

    You are right to not address the issue of her not being a parent. We waited 13 years for our daughter (adoption) and, while I never told someone how to parent, I did hear that dreaded "you just wait " line when facing certain social situations. Salt in the wound.

    The thing is, even if she had 10 kids .. if they were PCs she still wouldn't have a clue. We do what we must with our difficult children and that's it. I would either not respond at all, or I would say "I know it's hard to understand, C. Believe me, if I weren't living it, I probably wouldn't understand either. We just did what we felt was best for difficult child and for everyone at the party. Trust me, had we forced him, it would not have been pleasant for anyone. We love your parties and sure hope the Steelers make it next year!".

    She doesn't mean to be cruel. She is just clueless. My difficult child was a easy child until about eight grade and her slide into the world of difficult children was a slow one. Until I was living it, I was clueless too.

  6. Frazzledmom

    Frazzledmom Guest

    I think the response above is perfect. Honesty works and if they're real friends hopefully they'll hear you. Sometimes I'm afraid of saying things like dashcat above because deep down I think I should just be able to say "We're going." and all will be well when deep down I know that is NOT true. Sometimes convincing me is the hardest thing I do. Our therapist calls those decisions "strategic decisions". I think that makes my life a "strategic life" for whatever that's worth!
  7. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    You know, we have been down this road before. One of our friends once told us we need to beat difficult child's ***. husband and I pulled them aside and filled them in on the bare minimum and they apologized and never said another word again !

    People who don't live this life just don't understand. I am sure your friendship will survive with some compassion (on your friends part)
  8. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Pam, I think you've received excellent advice from the others about how to handle this situation with your friend, and I agree that it doesn't have to be a friendship-ender.

    I just want to add one small thought:
    I've learned over the years that I don't have to explain, defend or apologize for my parenting decisions. Defending and/or apologizing seems to lead people to think that they have permission to comment, and some say in how you handle parenting matters. Not a path you want to go down, especially when raising a difficult child.

    However you address this with your friends, I would try not to do it in such a way that it invites opinion, or comment, or advice, or whatever. It's a delicate balancing act, but it can help to keep resentment out of a friendship where the other friend just can't understand the depth of what you're dealing with. It's sort of a variant of "Never let 'em see you sweat."
  9. Jena

    Jena New Member


    jumping in late i'm with-the others also. yea it took alot of nerve for her to say that, tha'Tourette's Syndrome something my mom would say which proves that the plus is she does feel close to you. yet at the same time it'll be good for you to explain to her you have levels of things with-your child that only you and husband get and you have to handle things the way the both of you feel appropriate and best.

    hopefully in the future she won't do that due to this incident. i wouldnt' break the friendship either over it. good friends are hard to come by.
  10. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    Thank you!! I took your advice and told her that we chose not to come because I knew that it would not have been a good scene with difficult child and that I felt that would not have been fair to her, her other guests, and me because we had already told difficult child that we would not be going and he does not do well when plans change. She didn't respond to it, but I can't worry about it anymore. I did what I did because I felt that was the best decision not just for difficult child, but for me as well.